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Interesting article (copy/paste)

DefectiveByDesign.org has declared Tuesday October 3rd a "Day Against DRM".

With more than 10,000 technologists having joined the campaign, and pledged to take direct action to stop DRM, and with more than 200 "actions" planned across the globe on October 3rd, we aim to raise the level of awareness to the threats posed by DRM technology.

DRM technology is a growing problem for all computer users, by extension all of society. DRM is typically used to restrict individuals' use of their own copies of published works. To enforce these restrictions, DRM software, and now hardware, must monitor and control a computer users' behavior. Frequently it reports on what it sees.

You might be aware that iPod users are restricted from transferring their music to other non-Apple devices because the music downloaded from iTunes is encrypted - locked with DRM. It allows you to write an audio CD, but if you ever want to take your music to a new portable device in a compressed format, you will end up with very lousy sound quality. These drawbacks are of course there for a reason: customer lock-in. Apple inconveniences its customers into binding themselves to Apple products.

This type of nuisance is but the foreshadow of greater ones to come. Standing behind the technology companies, the film and music industry (Big Media) loom large. To increase their control, they demand technology companies impose DRM. The technology companies no longer resist. Of course many of the technology companies now see themselves as part of Big Media. Sony is a film and music company, Microsoft is an owner of MSNBC, and Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, sits on the board of Disney. These technology companies cannot be expected to serve the interests of the technology consumer.

Big Media hope that DRM will deliver to them what their political lobbying to change copyright law never has: they aim to turn our every interaction with a published work into a transaction, abolishing fair use and the commons, and making copyright effectively last forever. They will say that you accepted DRM and willingly surrendered your rights. That you did so under duress, they will call irrelevant.

Amazon's new movie download service is called Unbox and it outlines what DRM implies. The user agreement requires that you allow Unbox DRM software to monitor your hard drive and to report activity to Amazon. These reports would thus include a list of: all the software installed; all the music and video you have; all your computer's interaction with other devices. You will surrender your freedom to such an extent that you will only be able to regain control by removing the software. But if you do remove the software you will also remove all your movies along with it. You are restricted even geographically, and you lose your movies if you ever move out of the USA. You of course have to agree that they can change these terms at any time.

Microsoft's newly upgraded Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11) user agreement has a similar set of terms.

Each time Big Media force you to upgrade your software, they downgrade your rights. Every new DRM system will enforce a harsher control regime. Apple's added more restrictions to their music service, and their new video service is yet more restrictive. And so it goes. But this is not just happening with music and video, DRM is being applied to knowledge and information. Libraries, schools, universities are adding DRM, sometimes under duress, often without understanding the consequences.

What does this mean for the future? No fair use. No purchase and resell. No private copies. No sharing. No backup. No swapping. No mix tapes. No privacy. No commons. No control over our computers. No control over our electronic devices. The conversion of our homes into apparatus to monitor our interaction with published works and web sites.

If this type of invasion of privacy were coming from any other source, it would not be tolerated. That it is the media and technology companies leading the way, does not make it benign.

Users of free software are not immune to DRM either. They can be locked out, and their computers won't play the movies or music under lock. Products can "tivoize" their code (remove their freedom through DRM), delivering it back with malicious features and blocking removal. The RIAA and the MPAA are actively lobbying Congress to pass new laws to mandate DRM and outlaw products and computers that don't enforce DRM. DRM has become a major threat to the freedom of computer users.

When we allow others to control our computers and monitor our actions we invite deeper surveillance. With our personal viewing, listening, reading, browsing records on file, are we not to be alarmed?
In September 2005 a Disney executive named Peter Lee told The Economist, "If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed,". A year later, we hope to make that prediction come true. With your help, on October 3rd, we can.

You are encouraged to Join the campaign at DefectiveByDesign.org

Talk about don Quichote.

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Last Post by Chaky
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Interesting article (copy/paste)

Talk about don Quichote.

Very interesting-- TY for the post.

IMOA, iPod is all hype: "Nice" commercials, U2 endorsements, "Hipsters" along with the "common man" all using iPods in harmony-- what more does a corporate entity\country (USA) need?

I use a $60.00 RCA MP3 Player from WalMart-- smaller, jet black, and it rocks the city streets with all the free music downloads I can gather. And, no fees for Apple- licensed products. :cheesy:

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I use Audio CD's.

Those are getting DRM-ed, too. Sony's new Audio CDs make it impossible to play songs on any Windows-based computer without installing spyware that monitors what you do with it and restricts copying and other such things.

I really think that it's cruel and unfair punishment for us to be so limited and our privacy invaded, but one thing to remember: these rules would never have been in place if there hadn't been any pirating. If the record companies and media companies hadn't done anything, they wouldn't be making any profit, and it would be hard for them to stay alive. These DRM schemes are the only way to keep them alive, as people keep figuring out new ways of hacking the DRM schemes that they put in place.

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I really think that it's cruel and unfair punishment for us to be so limited and our privacy invaded, but one thing to remember: these rules would never have been in place if there hadn't been any pirating.

This is true, although I'm still reluctant to take the side of RIAA, mainly because I feel they already make too much money.

What theoretical capitalism would predict is that the consumer would choose an alternative that does not include 'spying'. However as we know, the average consumer does not act in this regard.

I like this article.

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What theoretical capitalism would predict is that the consumer would choose an alternative that does not include 'spying'. However as we know, the average consumer does not act in this regard.

I think it's just a matter of consumer awareness. In 50's ppl were buying cars without seat belts. They were considered unnecessary by common ppl. But, even then, the studies have shown great hazardous flaws with the cars that were being sold. Thing is, those studies were known only to auto-industry's CE O's and ppl that made those studies. Ppl were buying those cars without knowing what they are paying for. It wasn't until (I think) early 70's that the seat belts became mandatory with all cars.

I ask you this: Would you buy a car without seat belts and with steering wheel with big spike in the center?

If you have an alternative MP3 player that is explicitly labeled as "not spyware", I think ppl would stop and think a little of what they're paying for. You can sue the manufacturer for fraud if they advertise the opposite. (so I've heard)

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Hmm... Piracy. What is piracy?

Here are my opinions and thoughts:


Definition of piracy:

Am I a pirate if I a make copy of Metallica's "Ride the lightning" so I wouldn't have to wear-and-tear the original? Or if someone liked the album and asked me if I could lend it to him for couple of days?
Sony says it is. Read the smallprint.

I say, if I buy the car, I can drive it anywhere I want. I can flip it over and set it on fire if I feel like it. If I BUY CD (as, it becomes my property), then it's MY CD and I can do whatever I want with it. That includes COPYING!

Nothing would make Sony happier that the situation that you couldn't make a backup copy of your favorite album. You would have to BUY ANOTHER copy. That would double their sales.
In that case, copyright law is nothing but a marketing trick.

I say pirating is PROFITING from illegal copying. Piracy is NOT copying.
Only problem is that today nobody can make any profit from pirating, with everybody having CD and DVD burners. Pirates are out of business for good. What is left of the real pirates are few ppl that are barely making any profit. Sony has no interest in them. There is not enough money there. Sony has more interest to go after little man.


Copyright law and monopoly vs. customer interests:

Example:
I have an optical mouse in my hand. Literally. I paid for it ...let me think... ~$8. Yup. $8. Guess what. It has 12 months warranty. That's right. $8 product with 12 months warranty.
I've also paid $40 for Black Crows album "Three snakes and a charm". And what warranty did I get for it. None.
Now, one may ask him self, how come $8 product HAS a warranty and $50 not. Simple. Market for a $8 product (in this case, optical mouse) has many manufacturers that are competing for every single customer. Sony, on the other hand, has nobody to fight with. You may disagree with it thinking that there are other recording companies. That's true, but you need to understand that there are as many markets as there are performers.
What Sony does is: they make a contract with, say, Iron Maiden. So, if you like Iron Maiden, you ARE FORCED to buy it from Sony. You can't say that you're unsatisfied with Sony's customer care and that you'll buy Iron Maiden's CD some place else 'coz they OWN the Iron Maiden world market. Absolute monopoly. And that's scary.

Example of such monopoly abuse:

Broadcasting law.

I live in a country where national radio and TV broadcasting company claims lawful rights for electro-magnetic waves. Yes. That is correct. They claim to own a natural phenomena. And they get money for it. Law here says that "If you have a home appliance that can receive electro-magnetic signal such as radio and TV broadcast, you are obligated to pay a monthly fee to the national broadcasting company".
Couple of years back, there was a story in the newspaper's about one old retired guy who lived off a small pension and had a TV at home but there was no reception whatsoever. So he refused to pay the fee, thinking he would have to get SOMETHING for his money. Well, he was wrong. Company sued him for not paying for last 10 years of which last 5 years he didn't even owe the TV set, and they won the case. Now they are claiming ALL of his income until they are satisfied, leaving him nothing to pay the bill with, rent nor food, and to practically starve to death on the streets. All done according to the broadcasting law.

Same thing is with Microsoft (here I go again with my anti-Microsoft stands):
You want to surf the net? You have to buy PC. You want to use PC but you never had one? You sure are not gonna build one. What do you do? You buy complete PC. And what does the complete PC come with? That's right, children: (all together) Win-dows.
Proof? Here: How does the ad look like for, say Dell:

Dell Dimension C521
Innovative Space Saving Business Performance

GREAT FOR
Wide selection of AMD processors
Thin, space-saving design
Tons of options, so you can build to your exact needs
Exceptional Multimedia and Entertainment usage

Operating System
Genuine Windows® XP Professional

etc.

Microsoft made it to the PC market in such extent that the common man is convinced that windows are part of PC, and without Windows, PC is useless. (I'm not talking about that 1% of PC experienced people that KNOW about other operating systems for PC and server administrators that would laugh they pants off on a thought that the windows is quality OS). Only thing preventing Microsoft to be "lone star in the sky" of base computing is Apple and it's mac and OS. Apple has done one thing that Microsoft never achived: combining base software AND hardware monopoly.
Linux is, and will be in their shadow. Why? No price - no profit. No profit - no marketing. No marketing - no fresh users.
If someone like Linux makers, made an attempt to make free and open source Windows-clone OS, Microsoft would be all over them like a pit-bull over shiatsu with copyright law in one hand and a desert eagle .50 in other, protecting their territory like any good local thug.


That's it for now.

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Nice comment [WoLfPaCk]
Well Said. -'Stein
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Wellllll said Mr. Chaky. You gets some rep for that.

As Borat would say, "High-five!?" :mrgreen:

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